Joe Kelly, making his major league debut with the Cardinals, has been pretty much exactly what he was expected to be.
He's throwing high 90s heat -- but he's a bit wild in the zone. Still, with late movement on his pitches, Kelly has the stuff to get away with mistakes.
One wrinkle in the scouting report is that Kelly has made some strides in refining secondary pitches. He reportedly was limited to a fastball and an experimental slider. But he has also been working in a curve ball with modest success. But his best bet right now is that heavy fastball that induces hitters to hit ground balls.
He's allowed five hits in four innings -- one of them a blooper to right against the dreaded shift that left gimpy Carlos Beltran in no man's land -- and one run while walking one and striking out four.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Kelly wears goggles on the mound which caused announcer Mike Claiborne to try to out-Shannon Mike Shannon in the KMOX booth.
Claiborne noted that Kelly doesn't wear the goggles when he's hitting -- only when he's pitching. Then chuckled while he pointed out that they must be a special prescription that is only good for seeing 60 feet, six inches...
Um... yeah, isn't it the same difference from the rubber to the plate as it is from the plate to the rubber?